Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cilantro and garlic shrimps with a touch of Australia


When I opened the mail box a few days ago I found a large blue envelope sent to me by Noodle Cook straight from Australia. The fact is that Noodle Cook offered a variety of prizes not only to the winners but to all the participants (see here and there) of the Paper Chef #13 event. As soon as I opened the envelope, a wonderful smell filled the air of my apartment. Curiosity having a very strong effect on me, I had to find a way to work with these spices, and fast!

As I told you in a previous post, we recently had a Chinese hot pot party at home which resulted in my fridge overflowing with unused food. This is how I used all the shrimps leftover.

First of all, garlic… Shrimp and garlic go together like peanut butter and jam. For about a pound of shrimp, I used a whole head of garlic but feel free to use more (or less but really I don’t see why you would want that).

Then cilantro… Fresh, fragrant and beautifully green… it goes perfectly with shrimps too. I used a good handful of chopped cilantro.

As for the recipe... I simply sautéed the shrimp in oil and garlic, along with some red pepper for color and sweetness and some chilli pepper flakes for heat. I then added a good pinch of wattleseed powder to the mix simply because I loved the smell and thought it would go well with the flavours already in the pan. After reading about it, I realise that wattleseed is more often used as a flavouring ingredient in sweets and for roasted meat but, as my little experiment showed, it works as well on shrimps. After a few minutes, I also added a little bit of white wine and, during the last minute of cooking, some chopped cilantro.

The result was quite pleasing but the wattleseed was not finely ground leaving black specks all over the shrimps. Nothing to worry about when you grill but not perfect for a dish served with its own sauce. I’ll get to know this spice well enough soon to avoid these little imperfection but in the meantime we still enjoyed a delicious meal.


2-minute Noodle Cook said...

Your dish sounds delicious! I suspect more so from the other ingredients and your cooking expertise than wattleseed. Wattleseed works great as a Cajun style rub (blackening) when used with akudjura and mountain pepper berry. Your dish is definitely a success compared to my first use of wattleseed in Paper Chef #9 where the pears went brown after a lot of effort to make them pink :).

I'll have to do a round up of all the posts. Happy experimenting with the spices!

MM said...

I've never even seen wattleseed before and now I am really intrigued. I wonder if we can get it here in Singapore. I love your dish. The serving vessel, I mean. Your recipe looks heavenly too.

MagicTofu said...

Hi Noodle Cook and thanks again for the spices and the magazine which I am just starting to read. I'll try the rub you just suggested when I'll come back from Toronto. I would love to see a round up of what people have made using these spices.

Hi MM, I used wattleseed for the first time here. It has a great smell... Singapore being such a world hub, you might be lucky enough to find them locally, otherwise I guess it's mail order from Australia! As for the plate, I got it a discount store for very little money ( :-) ).

Elvira said...

Ah, quel délice!